As far as friends go, TV anchor Chad Tucker and his dog Otis couldn’t have been closer.
Tucker adopted Otis, a Bichon Frise Jack Russell Terrier mix, from a shelter 10 years ago. The dog helped Tucker through some hard times in his life, and became an important member of the growing family.
Otis was no stranger to fame. He made appearances over the years on Tucker’s morning news segments, community Christmas parades, and Facebook viral videos of him riding a stroller and having tea parties with Tucker’s daughter Carson Parry. Otis would have been 10 this year, but as his health began to fail fast, Tucker planned a bucket list for his little friend. They enjoyed one last weekend together, and Otis passed on.
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“As the sun started setting Sunday, my wife Meredith and I held our sweet, gentle Otis as he slipped away to our creator. We loved on him like he loved on us. We wanted him to pass knowing just how loved he was and we thanked him for the joy he gave us and so many others,” Tucker wrote on Facebook.
“Otis’ Bucket List Weekend” started on Pilot Mountain, Tucker wrote, “taking a long afternoon nap under a black walnut tree in Stokes County and enjoying long car rides through the foothills. Otis loved car rides and always wanted to sit in our lap while we were driving. I never let him because I thought it was too dangerous… but on this weekend we had no rules.”
During his last few days, Otis’ heart was in it but his body just wasn’t as strong as it used to be. He had been diagnosed with diabetes and Cushing’s disease, and in that last week, rapid kidney failure. But there’s no doubt Otis’ last weekend was filled with love and happiness.
“As the weekend started to wind down and we began our trek home, Otis was getting weaker and we knew the time had come,” Tucker wrote. “We dropped Carson Parry off at a friend’s home where she told her loyal friend, in her soft toddler voice, ‘good-bye Otis … see you in heaven.’ My youngest daughter, 2-month-old Pearl Monroe, stayed with us sleeping through it all.
“If only we lived every weekend like ‘Otis’ bucket list weekend.'”
Shelter dogs like Otis have a greater chance of living happy, healthy lives if they are adopted, but there are many who will spend most of their lives in a kennel. For 10 years, GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Bank program has worked tirelessly to provide food to shelters, and unfortunately, the number of homeless pets who need food is increasing. Follow this link to find out how you can help these organizations keep shelter animals fed while they wait for their forever homes.
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